Bards & Brews Fundraiser to Be Held at Central Library on February 3

What: Bards & Brews All Star Show
When:  Friday, February 3, 2017
Where: Central Library, Fiction Department, 1st floor
Details: Music by Clutch starts at 6:30 p.m.; poetry performances begin at 7: 00 p.m.

The future of Bards & Brews, the Birmingham Public Library’s (BPL) popular spoken word poetry and beer tasting event, is in jeopardy due to lack of funding, and the public is being asked to help.

A dedicated group of BPL staff and community supporters are working to keep Bards & Brews alive and vital. The Central Library will host a special All Star Bards & Brews featuring previous slam winners and crowd favorites on February 3 in which attendees will be asked to pay-what-they-can to enter. The library is planning another Bards & Brews fundraising event at an off-site location later in 2017. More details on that event will be announced at a later date.

Craft beer has been donated by Grayton Beer Company of Florida. Donations via cash, check, or credit card will be accepted throughout the evening and online at

Poets performing will be as follows: Blaque Diamond, BStucc, Jahman Hill, Jerri Hardesty, JP Da Poet, Lee Green, Michael Harriot, Mojo Mama, Quang Do, Shaun Judah, Shaunteka, Southern Boy Buff, and Voice Porter.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with live music by Clutch, beer tasting, and light refreshments. The poetry will begin to flow at 7:00 p.m. with Brian "Voice Porter" Hawkins serving as host. Attendees must be at least 18 to enter and 21 to participate—ID is required.

For more information about Bards & Brews, call Brandon C. Smith at 205-591-4944 or e-mail him at

Here are the three main challenges the Bards & Brews program is facing in 2017, as highlighted at the following link:
  1. Last year, the Alabama State Legislature passed a bill (a.k.a. the growler bill) that limited beer donations by Alabama's breweries. BPL has depended on beer donations for the Bards & Brews events for the past six years. Purchasing the beer, which will be necessary going forward, substantially increases the event expenses. Funds for beer will have to be donated, since it is not possible for the library to use taxpayer money to purchase alcohol.
  2. The grant cycle for this program has run its course. The year 2017 is the sixth year of Bards & Brews, and grant funding for the current version of the program has ended.
  3. The Birmingham Public Library has had to re-prioritize budgeting for programs and there is not enough money to continue Bards & Brews without public and/or private support.